Judicial Appointments Crisis Eases, Process Moves Forward

YERUSHALAYIM -

Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked and High Court President Miriam Naor are on speaking terms again, as Shaked reportedly agreed to shelve the bill that would undercut the Court’s say in judicial appointments after the two met on Sunday.

Meanwhile, the Justice Ministry released a list of 28 candidates for the High Court. Four seats out of the 15 are expected to be vacated in 2017.

Publication of the list was made despite last week’s fracas over a bill with Shaked’s implicit backing which would have taken away the Court’s veto on appointments. In a public letter of rebuke, Naor informed Shaked that the judges would not discuss the appointments as long as the bill was being advanced, what she called “a gun on the table.” On Sunday, it appeared that the two might work out a compromise, after all, and the bill would be withdrawn.

Among the list of potential appointees was Prof. Gideon Sapir of Bar Ilan University, a constitutional law expert with rabbinical ordination from Israel’s Chief Rabbinate. Sapir was said to be Shaked’s first choice.

Yosef Elron, the head of the Haifa District Court, was named as a front-runner, with the backing of Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon, who sits on the appointments committee, according to Globes.

Dr. Aviad Hacohen, a commentator on legal issues for the right-wing Israel Hayom, was on the list.

George Karra, a Christian Arab judge at the Tel Aviv District Court is a likely successor to Justice Salim Joubran, of the four set to retire.

Shaked was apparently at odds over Ruth Ronen, a Tel Aviv District Court judge whose husband, Ze’ev Bergman, sits on the board of the New Israel Fund, according to Globes. Ronen was being backed by the three justices on the appointment committee, according to the report.